This Hub Is Going to the Dogs!
I admit it. There was a time I was a "cat person". No, I did not have whiskers nor did I enjoy the feline pleasure we humans know as Meow Mix. I did not fight with other cats in the back alleys nor did I ever cough up a hairball. Well, other than that one time, but that had nothing to do with being a "cat person".
But I changed when I met a cute Rottweiler named Kory. She was a tiny little thing who now, many years later (a gentleman never reveals a lady's age), has a head the size that her whole body was back then as a puppy. Basically I became her step-dad -- i.e. #3 in the pack behind the Alpha (mommy) and the Beta (doggie). Good doggie daddies know their place.
Though she may not officially be "my dog", she is my girl and I love here more than I ever thought I could love an animal. That is probably because she is clearly something more. She has never gotten mad at me, never scolded me and never made me feel stupid when I did something really dumb.
Oh sure, she might kid me a little bit when I forget to take her leash off after a walk or don't remember to help her wipe off her eye boogers after dinner, but it is always a good natured ribbing. You know... kind of an I-know-you-cannot-help-it-after-all-you-are-only-a-human-not-a-dog kind of sympathetic ribbing.
She has never held a grudge, always does what I ask (eventually... most of the time...) and never expects anything of me other than an occasional scratch behind the ears or belly rub. I am pretty sure she has never talked about me behind my back nor has she ever stolen money from my wallet while I was sleeping. And she has never gotten drunk without at least offering me a beer. Where else will you find a friend like that?
So now I am a "dog person". Or more precisely a "dog and cat person"
because who could not adore a sweet little kitty-cat even with that annoying attitude they all seem to have? But this hub is
about dogs, so please stop bringing up the kittens! Sheesh! Here's some random dog stuff...
My Favorite Celebrity Dogs
Every once in awhile a dog will break through the "human bias barrier" and become famous for one reason or another. You know some of the most popular ones -- Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Pete from The Little Rascals... These are a couple or three of my personal faves...
- Trixie Koontz - author, philosopher, assistance dog
Without a doubt, my favorite celebrity dog is Trixie Koontz. She is my favorite not just because she is a celebrity, but because she was a great dog. Having been raised by Canine Companions for Independence, Trixie was an assistance dog until elbow surgery ended her assistance career at a relatively young age. She was then adopted by author Dean Koontz and his wife Gerda and became fully and totally a Koontz, following in her dad's footsteps with her first book, Life Is Good. She went on to write two other books, Christmas Is Good and Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life and also to narrate two children's book written by her dad, I Trixie, Who Is Dog and Trixie & Jinx. Trixie passed away in 2007 but led a very full life of adventure and joy, fulfilling all of her dreams except her dream to drive a car (due to those crazy laws that would not allow her to have a license). Trixie is still with Dean and Gerda Koontz through the memories they shared with her as well as with all her fans through her books and the bliss she left behind.
- Nipper - mascot, artist's model
Though any fan of music is likely very familiar with Nipper, many may not know his name or the story behind where he came from. Many may not even realize that Nipper was indeed a real dog. As the subject of a painting known as His Late Master's Voice, Nipper became the mascot of the company that eventually evolved in RCA / Victor Records. The painting was made in 1898, three years after the original Nipper died, from a photograph of the dog intently listening to an Edison Bell cylinder phonograph. The cylinder phonograph eventually was replaced by a Berliner disc gramophone before the photo and the slogan "His Master's Voice" were sold to The Gramophone Company. Nipper has since been portrayed by many other dogs, but none quite as special as the original.
- Carl - therapy dog, all around good guy
Carl was a popular Rottweiler who was well known as a therapy dog, visiting children who were hospitalized and bringing some of the joy that only a special dog could bring with him. Carl didn't quite have the mastery of the English language that Trixie Koontz had, so he never actually wrote a book, but he was the subject of over a dozen children's titles by self-illustrated author Alexandra Day. (Watch for a hub soon about this wonderful artist / writer!) The only question was did the kids love Carl more than he loved the kids or was it the other way around. But with that much love, it doesn't really matter.
Or, more precisely, quotes about dogs. Most dogs, though sometimes quite talkative and vocal, are rarely quotable. Trixie Koontz and Carl being the exceptions, of course...
- "The only weights I lift are my dogs." - Olivia Newton-John
- "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
- "If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail." - Fran Lebowitz
- "A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself." - Josh Billings
- "The poor dog, in life the firmest friend. The first to welcome, foremost to defend." - Lord Byron
- "God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there." - Billy Graham
- "When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem." - Edward Abbey
- "If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience." - Woodrow Wilson
- "I believe that I was a dog in a past life. That's the only thing that would explain why I like to snack on Purina Dog Chow." - Dean Koontz
- "Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail." - Josh Billings
- "The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too." -Samuel Butler
- "If a dog jumps into your lap, it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing, it is because your lap is warmer." - Alfred North Whitehead
- "I was a dog in a past life. Really. I'll be walking down the street and dogs will do a sort of double take. Like, hey, I know him." - William H. Macy
- "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland
- "Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." - Milan Kundera
- "No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does." - Christopher Morley
- "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
- "No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin
- "You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson
- "Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." - Roger Caras
- "The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man's." - Mark Twain
- "No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he has a dog, he has a friend; and the poorer he gets, the better friend he has." - Will Rogers
Just Some Pictures of Real Cuties
Dog Stories from Around the Web
Dogs have been known to do many wonderful things, serve in many honorable positions and perform many random acts of kindness and along with a few unforgettable miracles from time to time. Here are some of their stories, both real and imagined...
- Golden Retriever Adopts Abandoned Tiger Cubs
The story of Isabella, a golden retriever who nursed three newborn white tigers who were abandoned by their mother.
- The Guardian: A Possibly Fictional Short Story by George Stephens
A paramedic finds Heaven is not quite what she expected when she receives an unusual reward after selflessly sacrificing her life to save someone.
- The Making of a Rescue Dog: A Personal Story
This is the story of Tara, a search and rescue dog with the Headwaters Search and Rescue Dog Unit in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and her trainer Jill Lemke.
- The Worlds Bravest Dog: Sgt.Stubby
Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat.
Does Your Doggie Surf the Web?
Here are some websites that you might enjoying visiting with your preferred pooch...
- My Dog Says...
"Woof?" "Bow wow?" "Where's the pizza?" I give up! Check out this blog to find out what our canine friends are talking about, learn a bit about shelter dogs and dogs in general, and kill a few minutes at work when the boss isn't looking!
- Petfinder: Save a Dog from the Shelter
Whether you and your dog are looking for a new friend or if this will be your first dog, please consider adopting a dog from a shelter. I'm not going to preach about it, but it is almost always the right thing to do!
- Sparky the Fire Dog
This one is great to visit with your children as well as with your canine friends. Full of great activities for kids and information about fire safety! Fun for kids of all ages!
- Tall Tails: Common Pet Myths
Do cats have nine lives? Do guinea pigs eat their babies? Do hound dogs dress up in rottweiler suits and pretend to be tough when they are really just sweetie pies? Gather the whole family around -- dogs, kids, cats, hamsters, etc. -- for this one!
- Your Old Dog: Maintaining Health, Happiness And Nutrition
A great site with information for keeping your aging dog healthy, happy and more human than human. And no, I am still not going to tell you how old my girl is!
Gotta Talk a Bit More About Kory...
Kory is really an amazing dog. She is an old girl now by rottie standards (still not saying how old!), but she is always ready to jump up any time anyone wants to play. She has survived breast cancer, a bone infection and, of course, the infamous staple incident when she was just a puppy. She always seems to bounce back stronger and more full of life than ever, determined to enjoy the day.
She likes to sit outside now enjoying the breeze in the warmer months and curl up next to her mommy's chair in the winter months. Kory is a real smartie too and can pick out a box of treats from any bag of groceries with ease. You have to keep an eye on her when food is around because she has been known to claim the occasional slice of unwatched pizza. Most of all she fills our world with love.
Sometimes I will look over at her and she will be sitting there looking at me with this big grin that just seems to ask, "Don't you get it, silly human?!? This is what it's all about!!!" I admit I am too dense to really get what she is talking about. but I know it is something special. And I know that someday I will understand.